Barca chief lifts lid on failed Neymar pursuit and chances of January bid

Date published: Saturday 7th September 2019 8:25

Barcelona “did everything possible to sign Neymar this summer”, says club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, but are unlikely to go back in for him in January.

Neymar pushed for a return to Barcelona this summer, but they could not meet the demands of PSG, the club they sold him to two years ago for a world record fee.

The La Liga champions couldn’t find an agreement either financially or related to which players would be sent in the opposite direction, before Neymar decided to stay in Paris for one more year.

Now, Bartomeu has revealed the club’s strategy with Neymar this year, and why the deal could not go through, in an interview with the club’s official TV channel.

“As the planning and signing of all the players to the squad was done, the interest towards Neymar was an added bonus when the sporting director of Paris Saint Germain, Leonardo, opened the doors to the player’s negotiation,” explained Bartomeu.

“Between the 10th and the 15th July, all our dealings were complete. We had a clear transfer strategy and then an extra strategy, which was Neymar.

“After that period, Leonardo opened up the possibility to sign him and Barcelona were one of the clubs interested in the deal.

“From then onwards, we did all possible to sign the player, but the negotiations didn’t end as we would have hoped because we couldn’t agree with what PSG demanded.

“Neymar was a sporting decision between the board and whenever a top player like him is available, we have to be in the market, in spite of it being an extra negotiation.

“We did everything possible to sign him this summer.”

Neymar’s name will undoubtedly resurface in gossip columns when the January transfer window approaches – with his future directly affecting the situation of a Tottenham Hotspur target – but Bartomeu admits that a mid-season deal would be unlikely.

“The deal for Neymar is not in our plans, for now.

“In January, February time, we will return to discuss the future planning of the Barcelona playing staff.”


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